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Community Veterinary Outreach USA Announces Launch and First Clinic in Kansas City Area

by Emily McVey | May 07, 2019
The nonprofit organization provides free veterinary care and human health care to individuals experiencing homelessness and their companion animals.

Kansas City, Mo., 7 May 2019 - There are approximately 3,500 individuals experiencing
homelessness in the Kansas City area, and about 500 of them have a companion animal for which they care (according to estimates created by pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim).

Community Veterinary Outreach USA (CVO USA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit seeking to support the Kansas City community by providing free veterinary care for the companion animals of people on the margins of society. The clinics also include a human-health component. CVO USA is partnering with Hope Faith Ministries , Thrive Health Connection , and Spay and Neuter Kansas City to care for animals as well as humans in need.

“We can bring people in by providing free veterinary care, and at that point, they can also get something for themselves,” says Dr. Lara Plass , CVO USA president. “A lot of individuals in this demographic care more about their animals than they do for themselves. Having something where they can get free care for their animals is often more important to them than having healthcare for themselves.”

CVO USA will hold its first clinic on June 8, 2019 , at Hope Faith Ministries (705 Virginia Ave.) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Clients will have scheduled appointments and are sourced via referral from area healthcare professionals and case workers. There will be wellness checkups, vaccinations, heartworm prevention and more at the clinic. Thrive will provide HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C testing for human clients.

“I would love to help reduce the stigma of people experiencing homelessness,” Plass says. “I think volunteers at the clinics will see that the clients are people who love their animals just as much as anyone else.”

CVO USA is a sister organization of Community Veterinary Outreach in Canada, launched in Ottawa, Ontario in 2003 by Dr. Michelle Lem . You can learn more at vetoutreachusa.org.

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